I laughed through this episode of Community the same way I laughed through last year’s â€œmockumentaryâ€ episode: loudly. Somehow I think the fact that a show I liked was being made fun of (last year: Parks & Recreation; this year: Glee) made it that much funnier.
Because, at this point, who isn’t a little bit done with Glee? The last two episodes are still sitting in my DVR, and I find myself never really having the urge to watch them. (Editor’s note: Listen to that inner voice, stay away, thank me later.) Community, by way of Jeff, has long hinted at its hatred of America’s favorite musical show, and it was unexpectedly delightful to see so much of an episode devoted to tearing it apart. (Although, everything does look cooler when the camera spinsâ€¦)
After Jeff inadvertently causes the Greendale glee club to suffer a collective nervous breakdown, the club director comes to ask the study group to fill in for the Christmas pageant. I was actually impressed to see that they’re sticking with all those one-off jokes from the fake clip show episode earlier in the season.
This time, though, the gang refuses to let themselves get sucked into the creepily cheerful world of the glee club. Everyone, that is, except for Abed. This season has been subtly exploring Abed’s learning (and sometimes struggling) to deal with his and his friends’ feelings. His ultra-detached analytical manner has started to crack as he becomes closer with a group of such expressive people. As a callback to last year, Abed’s still trying to make the group act like a family around the holidays. The creepy club director convinces him that participating in the glee club pageant (just in time for regionals!) is the way to do it. Starting with Troy, Abed tries to get each group member to give in to the joy of the season â€“ and the song.
The slow descent of each study group-er into gleeful stupor wasn’t unlike the zombie episode of yore; you know everyone’s going to succumb, you just don’t know in what order. The only thing to do is sit back and enjoy the weirdness. While I thought Troy and Abed’s Christmas rap would be impossible to top, Annie’s â€œSanta-Babyâ€-esque number for Jeff had me shaking with laughter. Thank you, Community, for finally hitting the right notes (ha!) with Annie. â€œBoop-a-doop-a-doop SEX!â€
Everyone’s on board just in time for the pageant, but just before showtime, Abed’s observational skills save the day. He realizes he’s lured the whole group into being in glee club forever, and the only way to get out now is to put Britta front and center. To everyone’s horror, the glee club director yells at her and then admits to causing the bus crash that killed the other glee club. Things start looking up again when the Dean declares that they should let Britta keep singing her awkward song. So she does.
It should be noted that Community doesn’t always â€“ or even often â€“ make me Feel A Feeling. But as was the case with last year’s Christmas episode (remember the claymation?), I reached the end of this one feeling sad. This time, though, not for Abed, but for me â€“ for us! For all the awesome people who either work on or devotedly watch this awesome show and are now left wondering when it will be back. Wondering what night and time it will be stuck with. And, certainly, wondering whether the mid-season interruption and schedule change will actually be the ultimate nail in the coffin.
Well, I hope this isn’t the last Community recap I get to write. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this hiatus will be a short one.